Rockrunner 2016

 

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Rockrunner 2016

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Rock Runner The magazine of the Rathkeale Old Boys’ Association Volume 21 December 2016

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Editorial GRANT HARPER (1967-71) It is remarkable just how far the tentacles of the Old Boys' Association reach. On a regular basis, emails, stories and photographs arrive at the ROBA from all corners of the globe. It seems that as travellers and as tourists, as adventurers and as workers, as students and educators, as soldiers, sailors and aviators, Rathkeale Old Boys have left very few stones unturned. For me personally, this has been a year of new beginnings and one that has also involved signięcant overseas travel in Australasia and in Europe. Wherever we have gone, we have not been far from a Rathkeale connection, an old friend, a past Principal, a longlost acquaintance, a past tutor or an Old Boy or two. Certainly, it is obvious that Old Boys have travelled widely and are making signięcant contributions to many countries and economies. Whilst this is both exciting and heartening, it also poses a challenge for the Association. No longer are we able to rely on a stable database of postal addresses. Instead, a network of Facebook, email and other social media sites links one with another. One does not cater for all and as peopleȂs employment and locations change, many slip oě the radar. In an aĴempt to stay in touch, the Rock Runner has been augmented by ravel, the occasional newsleĴer of the association. he positive reaction to this has been welcome and heartening. he Old BoysȂ Facebook sites have been more closely monitored to advantage and the Executive this year has purchased a new database programme which will enable Old Boys to update their details more easily. Hopefully all of this will help us to keep in touch, informed and involved at a time when much is happening within the Association and the life of the College. Having said that, the Rock Runner remains as something of a Ěag ship for the Association. It formally celebrates the diverse achievements of a widespread community. It, too, travels widely, telling the world about us and our achievements year by year. Grant Harper Editor ROBA Regional Committee Representatives Grant Harper Edward Cox Tim Martin Michael Clinton-Baker Blair Ewington Richard Donworth Stuart McKenzie Terry Brailsford Don Tosswill David Crowley Scott Andrew Craig Galloway Simon Osborne Philip Harcourt Shay O’Gorman President Secretary/Wellington Treasurer Executive (2016) Executive/Facebook (2017) (2017) Auckland Hawke's Bay Manawatu (2016) Executive/Wairarapa Canterbury Melbourne United Kingdom ROBA Cricket Club ROCKRUNNER Editor: Grant Harper Editorial Assistant: Shelley Hancox Design: Pete Monk Printing: Greenlees Photography: Thanks to all the members of our school community who kindly supplied photographs for this edition of Rock Runner. Cover Image: (courtesy Ilya McLellan, Fairfax Media) features Thomas and Benjamin Renton (2012-16) on the boardwalk of the eco-trail.

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Rathkeale Old Boys’ Association GRANT HARPER (1967-71) - President It is an unexpected honour to ęnd myself President of the Old Boys and a pleasure to be in increased contact with names and faces from past decades. I believe 2016 will prove to be something of a watershed year for ROBA. hanks to the hard work of the executive and also to the legal prowess of Secretary Edward Cox, much has been put in place which should stand the Association in good stead. We now have a comprehensive strategic plan which will eěectively shape our endeavours going forward. Clear goals and objectives are now in place which will guide the commiĴee meeting deliberation so central to our vitality in our ability to communicate with each other. o assist with this, we have purchased a new data base programme which is now located at the College where the Executive has ready access to it and where updates can be easily made. he publication of ȁ ravelȂ, subtitled the “Occasional NewsleĴer of the AssociationȄ has been welcomed. It is already proving a quick and easy communication of snippets of news and information as the months pass by. Increasing use of Facebook is an important feature of the Association. Younger Old Boys in particular are beneęĴing from the good work being done by Blair Ewington (1984-1988). A signięcant eěort has gone into reaching out to Old Boys via regional commiĴees. hese have been established in Auckland (erry Brailsford), Hawke's Bay (on osswill), anawatu (avid Crowley), Wairarapa (ScoĴ Andrew), Wellington (Ed Cox), Canterbury (Craig Galloway), elbourne (Simon Osborne) and England (Philip Harcourt). I am excited about this development and certainly have enjoyed several gatherings recently. One in London earlier in the year drew a mixture of Old Boys and past tutors of various ages and was an auspicious ęrst. Another one in Wellington at the Wellington Club was both reęned and enjoyable. We are grateful to those who have agreed to operate in the regions and also those who have stepped up beside them to oěer assistance. Another big decision is the formalisation of a system of annual recurring reunions. hese will bring together year groups every ten years, will all take place at Queens’ Birthday weekend annually and will harness people 10 years, 20 years, 30 years, 40 years and 50 years on from the year they left school. Beginning in 2017 there will be reunions for those who left in 1967, 1977, 1987, 1997 and 2007. A year group Reunion “facilitatorȄ will be sought and will drive the workers. he format will beDZ Friday Cocktail party at Rathkeale for all year groups Saturday ours of the College, photographs and a chance to watch College sport. Reunion Dinner at a venue tbc. Sunday Chapel Additional details and contacts will be found on the upgraded Old Boys’ page on the College website in the New Year. Another exciting development, spear headed by Shay O’Gorman (1988-1992) is the establishment of an Old Boys’ Social Cricket Club. here has been an initial pleasing response to the idea and other new comers will be most welcome. he ęrst match, another notable ROBA event, will be a game against Old Boys of Wanganui Collegiate School early next year at Wanganui. All supporters will be most welcome. A second match is scheduled against the College 1st XI at Rathkeale in mid-January. As 2016 draws to a close, it is with some satisfaction that I reĚect upon the achievements of the past year and it was good to speak positively about the association to this year's batch of ęne new Old Boys. As an association I believe we are moving in very positive directions and I thank you all for the part you have played in that momentum. M. Grant Harper President

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Rathkeale BoT (1979-2015) Old Boy and outgoing Chairman of the Rathkeale College Board of Trustees Andy Pottinger reflects on a decade of board service. It seems a long time since I joined the Rathkeale Board of rustees in a bielection in early 2006, and looking back, a lot of water has Ěowed under the bridge since then. It would be fair to say that around this time, there was a perception in the community that Rathkeale College was not the “preferred optionȄ when prospective parents were looking for a school to educate their sons, and the same could probably be said by teachers looking at a preferred employment opportunity. Perception is a very powerful word, and can have very damaging consequences should the perception be negative. Looking back, I believe this was certainly the case for Rathkeale at the time. While it’s not for me to judge the hows and whys, it was apparent to me that changes had to be made in a number of areas if Rathkeale was to survive and once again become the school of “ęrst choiceȄ for parents looking for a holistic education for their sons. History will show that Willy ersten was appointed as Principal in November 2007 and, along with wife Ali and daughter Jane, joined the school community in erm 1, 2008. And, using the words from that wonderful Eagles song, “that’s where it all beganȄǷǷ Willy and I very quickly established an exceptional working relationship, which over the ensuing 8 years developed into a strong friendship. his has been a relationship of mutual respect and, in my case, admiration for Willy’s capacity for work, his unwavering commitment to standards where there were no exceptions, and his strong leadership skills. A huge part of where Rathkeale is today must be aĴributed to these qualities Willy brought with him in his role as Principal. Since 2007, money has been invested in infrastructure and maintenance, and programmes are in place for this to continue on an ongoing basis. Amongst a myriad of projects, here are a few highlightsDZ Ȋ he majority of the classrooms have been fully refurbished to a very high standard Ȋ he whole school has been repainted in one colour scheme which is now ęxed and ongoing Ȋ Auditorium acoustic issues have been addressed Ȋ Cranleigh Boarding House underwent a complete strip and refurbish, including 100% earthquake compliance. Ȋ Repton Boarding House is now 100% earthquake compliant and continues to be refurbished as funds permit. Ȋ he Dining Hall and Central itchen have had a complete refurbishment Ȋ he Rathkeale sewerage scheme is now completely future-proofed and is no longer reliant on GW Regional Council consents Ȋ Fast ębre broadband and school-wide wireless network are up and running Ȋ Central quad area was developed as a Jubilee project he list could go on and on. It is unfortunate that the February 2011 Christchurch earthquake set in motion a vast array of rules and regulations which, for the buildings and facilities across the rinity system to become compliant, has sucked up in excess of Ǟ5 millionǷ his has severely hindered a number of further developments planned at Rathkeale. However, with the majority of standards now reached, new projects are being planned and should start soon.

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ReĚecting on my involvement at Rathkeale, a few key things jump out. Firstly the students. It still gives me goose bumps when I remember Senior College prizegiving and see the calibre of young men and women who exit the Senior College each year. hey are all exceptional young people, well-prepared to face the world! hen there are the staě, who do an amazing job of educating these young people, not just in the classroom, but across all areas of life at Rathkeale. his is what creates the atmosphere to provide an holistic approach to education. he strength of leadership and the functional relationship between governance and management is another key area of which I have been privileged to be part. Rathkeale is a special place; it is a way of life. It becomes all-encompassing. It has a very special ethos and I feel so proud and honoured to have been an integral part of it for the last ten years. Cheers n¢ ˜Ĵ’ner Outgoing Chairman Rathkeale College Board of rustees Principal’s Report WILLY KERSTEN As I reĚect on the past year it is pleasing to note what has been achieved and I feel conędent that we can look to the future with considerable optimism. he Rathkeale Old Boys’ Association, through the initiatives of Ed Cox (1983–1987) and Grant Harper (1967-1971), is making great strides with the development of a strategic plan intended to bring Old Boys together to connect with their alma mater and each other. he Decade Reunions planned to commence on Queen’s Birthday Weekend 2017 present a wonderful opportunity for fellowship and reminiscing. After 12 years of sterling service, for most of this time as Chairman, Andy PoĴinger (1968-1972) has retired from the Board of rustees. hrough his inspirational leadership, successive Boards have been instrumental in providing the guidance necessary for the College to move forward. His personal eěorts have been immeasurable and something I am very grateful for. A substantially new board led by George urdoch has a solid foundation on which to continue the vital work of the board and under his leadership we can look forward to further growth. Andy continues his association with the school through his involvement in a campaign to raise funds for a new gymnasium. Chris lassen, who successfully spear-headed the Auditorium appeal has re-connected with the school in an ambitious project to raise the $2 million a feasibility study recommended possible. Assisted by Grant Harper and with the generous support of Hamish Whyte (1973-1977) the commiĴee will be very active in 2017. A 25% increase in roll in the last eight years has seen the school almost reach its cap of 310. Interest from Day Boy families no longer results in an automatic enrolment and this year, some families who met the “Preference CriteriaȄ were still not able to be oěered a place. any of these families have accepted the oěer of a boarding place so their son’s education at Rathkeale can be assured. It is most heartening to hear that the talk on the street is positive and the interest in what the College oěers appealing to so many. So, what is so appealing about Rathkealeǵ he stunning campus creates a magnięcent ęrst impression and we are indebted to those who had the vision to create the environment that the boys enjoy so much. Academic achievement is our core

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business and to maintain averages in excess of 90% (95% in 2015) of boys gaining their NCEA at all three levels over the last ęve years is pleasing. he wider life of the school presents a plethora of options for boys and their achievements, some in association with the St aĴhew’s girls in Senior College activities, and cause us to claim that we can “punch above our weightȄ. A passionate Haka competition, a superb major production and a spirited House usic festival ensure the cultural life of the school is alive and well. Sports teams and individual athletes have enjoyed successful seasons with the ęrst teams in the individual codes recognized in Wellington, Central North Island and national competitions. Success breeds success and we look forward to the further development of sport through the coaching expertise that is at our disposal. he pillars of a Good Rathkeale an are now well-embedded and as we continue to build on the values they propound. Increasingly, we ęnd ourselves talking about character. As an integrated school, we are expected to be distinguished by our special character. Within this, the spiritual dimension is hugely signięcant, but the manner by which it is portrayed is becoming less traditional. In the second half of the year the boys have given over 800 hours of service to the local community to assist in conservation, enhancing the environment and providing for those in need. We are seeking to expand this voluntary programme next year and include it as part of a Duke of Edinburgh initiative we have planned. Furthermore, what character means will be something we delve into more next year. We have been accepted as one of 30 schools in an international two-year Character Education programme being run by the International Boys’ Schools Coalition. he prospects of what it might provide for Rathkeale are exciting. I look forward to ROBA continuing its good work in the interests of those who are members and, in turn, the College. ’••’a– erœten Principal

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Travels in Pakistan Former teacher, Housemaster, Deputy Principal and Principal Bruce Levick (1975-1996) reflects on experiences on the Indian sub-continent. When is the right time for a principal to seek a new challenge? After twenty-one and a half years at Rathkeale College—eleven as a Housemaster in Innisfree and Winchester House, four as Deputy Principal and ęve and a half as Principal, and with the college securely integrated into the state system—I was ready for something diěerent. Luckily my wife, Gwen, who at that time was one of the managers at NZQA, was also geĴing restless. So began the ęrst of a series of further rich chapters in our lives. It started with a response to an advertisement for school principals in Pakistan, where we ultimately spent four enriching and exciting years, which included running schools and writing a series of mathematics textbooks for Oxford University Press in Pakistan. his was followed by three rewarding years as principal of Ruapehu College in Ohakune, a challenging year teaching mathematics in South Carolina, a fulęlling year with Volunteer Service Abroad training principals in the Solomon Islands, and writing a school history Wellesley – 100 Years On for the centennial of Wellesley College in Days Bay in 2014. For the past ęve years I have been working at the inistry of Education as a Senior Advisor. I shall here conęne my comments to Pakistan, one of the best kept secrets in the world. We were employed by an organisation called he City School which was a chain of over 100 independent uslim schools owned and managed by a Pakistani woman. hey catered for some 30,000 students from kindergarten to Year 13. During the years that we were in Pakistan, I was the principal of two diěerent schools – Capital Campus in Islamabad (1,600 students) and the PAF Chapter in arachi (2,300 students). y role included helping to equip the teachers to deliver the University of Cambridge O and A-level prescriptions, and changing the teaching and learning style from rote learning to an approach that beĴer fulęlled the requirements of the Cambridge examination system. In Pakistan, principals are supported by a so-called ȁpeon’, a jack-of-all-trades who does the cleaning, the ęling, makes the tea, delivers messages and does any other work that is required. It was rather diĜcult coming to terms with having a ȁlackey’ as it went totally against the kiwi way of doing things. However, I recognised that it did aěord employment to a young man who, on his meagre salary, supported his father, mother, aunt and three siblings. halid and I got on very well and by the time I left he could speak English Ěuently, use a computer and ride a motorcycle. He was later instrumental in seĴing up a school in his village. We visited halid in his village, about 80km from Islamabad. his was a humbling and heart-warming experience. His aunt presented me with a business shirt that she had made that morning on her sewing machine - a warm and generous gesture. Amongst other things, halid showed us his old classroom. It was designed to seat 84 students, in twelve rows of seven seats and with no equipment. Who are we to be critical of teaching techniques when the teacher had to cope with such numbers and lack of resources! he country was cricket-mad. I once counted about a dozen games of cricket going on at break in an area of two acres. he players always shout, argue and gesticulate. On one occasion the school had to be closed during the day because of political unrest. Some students stayed on as their parents were working. One small lad came and asked me if I could telephone his mother with a request for their driver to deliver his cricket bat, but not to mention that the school was closed! On another occasion, building operations were taking place at the school. I was presented with two invoices to sign, both wriĴen in Urdu. he ęrst was for 20 labourers. When I enquired about the purpose of the second invoice, I was told it was for the 15 donkeys carrying the building materials back and forth in panniers.

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Our corporate vehicle was an 800 cc Suzuki Alto. Initially our nerves were not aĴuned to local driving practices. Put quite simply, donkeys gave way to Suzukis, Suzukis gave way to 4 X 4s, and 4 X 4s gave way to buses and trucks. In traĜc jams, the side of the road on which vehicles drove appeared to be optional and leaving more than a metre on any of the four sides of your vehicle, even when moving, seemed to be regarded as wasting valuable road space. During the four years that we were in Pakistan, we covered about 75,000km, including driving up the arakoram Highway (the old Silk Route) to the border post with China which was 16,000 feet above sea level where the river was frozen over. One particularly poignant memory remains with me. While staying with friends in Lahore soon after our arrival in the country, the monsoon came. An SOS was received from some friends of our hosts that their house was being Ěooded and could we assist. hree of us drove till the water was round our ankles in the car, which we then abandoned and walked the rest of the way. It was a walk of about ęve kilometres that I shall never forget. ost of the way we were up to our chests in thick brown water, a dead fowl or dog would Ěoat by from time to time. What was most frightening was that the power lines were down and from time to time one would get an electric shock from a live wire. Finally we found the house – the fence and gate were submerged, the van in the basement was up to its windscreen in water, the piano on the ground Ěoor was Ěoating on its side. he old people had taken refuge on the second Ěoor. We carried them out along with a few valued possessions. ill this time, we had only read of this sort of catastrophe – they happened in other countries and, we felt, were always exaggerated. Not so! his was disaster in the raw. It was a privilege to be able to help and to be shoulder to shoulder with the desperate to save what could be salvaged. So ended a day that you would not wish on anyone, but one you would not have missed for anything. We lived in Pakistan in exciting times. Pakistan conducted its ęrst nuclear test. his was not a very powerful device, but on V we could see the mountain where the test was conducted turn white from heat. We were alarmed at the level of rejoicing and national pride engendered by this event. Long may New Zealand remain free. Another sobering experience was the aĴack on the win owers in New York on 11 September 2001 while we were living in arachi. It was interesting to observe the change of aĴitude from sympathy for America to growing animosity as the bombing of Afghanistan was accelerated. During the four years that we lived in Pakistan, our lives were enriched fully as much as we hope that we enriched the lives of the people with whom we worked. It is the day to day living that makes the diěerence. One staě member made a telling comment. She saidDZ “It is not so much what you taught us, and that has been interesting and useful, but the way you have dealt with people and motivated them that we shall rememberȄ. ržŒe eŸ’Œ” Principal 1991-1996 BRL: Back row, right

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Jason McCracken Old Boy Jason McCracken (1980-84) has just returned from his fourth Olympic Games. Rock Runner caught up with him to find out what he was doing in Rio, and what lies ahead. So your fourth Olympics – what were you doing in Rio? I was very fortunate to be the ęrst iwi to be the ournament Director (D) for the en’s Hockey tournament. What that entailed was running and being responsible for all aspect of the men’s hockey tournament. he role was appointed by the International Hockey Federation (FIH) working closely with the IOC. In essence it was to ensure that the right team won in accordance within the rules and tournament regulations. Where did it all start? Although I never reached any great lofty heights as a hockey player at school (Captained the mighty 2XI, with Rev Pinner as Coach), I actually started umpiring hockey at school. I went to Hatch Cup as an umpire in my 6th and 7th form and continued umpiring when I went to Uni at Vic in Wellington. I kept playing for University but my umpiring career took oě and I went to Nationals. In 1992, I went to my ęrst international tournament in Prague. From there many years of international tournaments and travel followed and umpiring took me all over the world many times. In 2000 I umpired my ęrst Olympics in Sydney and went on to umpire at the World Cup and Champions rophy in alaysia, India, Australia and Holland and also the 2004 Athens Olympics. So how did you go from an umpire to running events? After the Champions rophy in 2006 I retired from active umpiring as I had a young family and a busy role as Head of State Insurance. We then also went to Aussie for work so I could not keep up the travel and time commitments as a top active international umpire. So I packed up my umpiring kit and retired. However, after a few years I did miss it and NZ Hockey asked me to aĴend a tournament as a Judge in alaysia. From there I got into the world of technical oĜcials and was appointed as the D of the Champions rophy in elbourne in 2010. In 2012 the FIH appointed me as the Assistant ournament Director for the London Olympics, D for the 2014 World Cup in he Hague and then ęnally bloke in charge of Hockey in Rio So how was it? There was a lot of negative press about Rio but it looked great from here. It was a very successful event. here was a good deal of work that went into the build-up including running a est Event at the newly completed venue in November last year. Brazil, as we know, is struggling economically so there was not the budget that we had in London but in true kiwi fashion we made do and worked around things to ensure that the athletes had the very best platform to perform.

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So what happened to our Black Sticks? We should be very proud of both teams. he men’s team only qualięed through a late withdrawal from South Africa and played some excellent hockey especially beating the eventual silver medalist Belgium in pool play. Of course there was the unforgeĴable heartbreak of losing to the Germans in the last second of their Ɯ ęnal after being two nil up! I do feel for the women’s Blacksticks team as two 4ths is a row from two Olympic campaigns is very tough. hey were a world class team comprehensively beating arch rivals Australia in their Ɯ ęnal but just did not ęre against GB in their semi, who went on to win Gold. So what do you do after you have run an Olympics? Well, actually, I have just been appointed as the new CEO of the International Hockey Federation based in Lausanne, Swiĵerland. I take up the role in February next year and I am super excited about this unique opportunity to combine my commercial experience in Banking and Insurance with my 20 year sporting passion for the game. Well that’s big news – what will be the challenges in the role? he sport feels a liĴle like cricket and rugby did 10 – 15 years ago with the move from amateur to professional status. here are now professional leagues in Europe and India and growing media thirst for high quality content. Hockey is a clean, gender-neutral, fast and exciting game. It ticks many boxes and I am looking forward to working hard to grow the game globally. However I am needing to draw on my 4th form French lessons at school as French is the language spoken in Lausanne. I have tried looking for my old exercise books but fear they are long gone so now I wish I paid more aĴention in class all those years ago!

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Guardians of the Land Two generations of Old Boys are acknowledged for their environmental awareness and the management of land that has been farmed by their family for almost 140 years. Hugh Akers (1964-67) & William Akers (1999-2003) Broadlands Station has 250 hectares in trees, many of them in gullies or on banks, saving the land from slipping. he farm goes from the banks of the Pohangina River to the foothills of the Ruahine Range in anawatu. here are 1650 hectares in all, 1400 of them are eěective – running sheep and beef. Broadlands stood out at the Ballance Farm Environment Awards because of its tree programme but also for other reasons. he other ęnalists for the supreme award were all dairy farms. he winners were William Akers and then ęanc·e Laura Oughton, and his parents, Judy and Hugh Akers. Broadlands won partly because the judges liked the multigenerational farming for environmental sustainability and economic success. It has been in the Akers family since 1880 and has been passed down the generations. he ęrst of the current family to live there were Hugh and Judy Akers. hey moved and started running the farm in 1974. Before that, Broadlands had had managers on the property. here is land on both sides of Ashhurst. “200 acres on the Pohangina Village side of the river, and that is where Judy and I live, and Willie and Laura,’ Hugh Akers says. In the early days, shepherds crossed the river by horse to work. he other quick way to the station is from No.4 Line, but Hugh put in a long driveway from the Saddle Road in the 1990s. His son William is the ęfth generation of Akers on the farm. William is quick to say he relies on his stock manager, Wayne Romley, to talk about any decision. “He and I work together and he is a trusted member of the team.Ȅ Romley, like the Akers, is an inter-generational – his father and grandfather worked on the station as well. Hugh puts the Balance Farm Environment Supreme Award win down to the tree programme. “A lot of gullies have been left in natives. We have a preserved wetland that has very good examples of maire, and mudęsh are believed to be there. And there is dryland bush, with totara and maire nearby,Ȅ he says. he trees cover the banks that could slump, and most gullies which stretch up towards the Ruahine foothills have native bush. Pruned trees for timber stretch up the long driveway. here are other areas of production forestry on the farm. ost bush is either fenced oě, or soon to be. Hugh says he has planted thousands of trees over the years. he judges liked that, saying that a lot of it was erosion control. He and William talk about damage from the 2004 Ěoods. “Floodwaters covered some paddocks with silt and there were just the fencepost tops sticking out. It did about $250,000 of damage. We’re still ęxing some things,Ȅ Hugh says. “We were still recovering, so we didn’t put fertiliser on that year and some fences have most wires showing above ground, the other wires are still buried,Ȅ William agrees. Heritage is important to the family. here is a museum on the property. uch of the old machinery that was used on the farm has been sand-blasted, painted and displayed. “It creates a lot of interest. People come and look at it all the time,Ȅ Hugh says. He and Judy are building a selfsustaining energy house, oě-grid. It is a long way to get power to the site, so they are creating their own. Judy farms and has her own dogs, though she says some are geĴing a bit old. But she has always been a hands-on farmer.

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Laura Oughton says she’ll follow in Judy Akers’ footsteps. She is an agronomist with Agriseeds. She is based at home but covers the southern North Island and travels quite a bit. “But I take time oě to help with the docking and other work on the farm. I try to help out whenever I am needed and I like being on the farm.Ȅ he station ęnishes lambs for the British supermarket chain Waitrose. hey must meet strict carcass specięcations and are ęnished on plantain crops which William introduced on the sandy river Ěats. he farming family don’t vaccinate, drench or do a lambing beat. As a result, William says, the ewes manage everything themselves and they are resistant to internal parasites. he family overwinter 6000 perendale ewes and though un-shepherded, the lambing percentage is around 120 each year. hey run Herefords and ęnish all their own lambs, and caĴle. Half are steers and half are kept as bulls. he contour is 15 per cent Ěat, 15 per cent medium rolling hills and the rest hard hill country. Hugh says there are many soil types, but they are largely sandy-type soils mixed with iwitea silt loam on the Ěats and mudstone on the hills but they do have a reasonable level of topsoil covering them. William says that when he was at school he was interested in farming but wasn’t sure how to get there. He completed a farm-management diploma at Lincoln University. “wo and a half years ago I came back.Ȅ Judy and Hugh are thrilled to have another Akers taking over. hey see themselves as guardians of the land and are keen for “Willie to get stuck inȄ as Judy puts it. This abridged article by Jill Galloway appeared in the Manawatu Standard. Image: Fairfax Media NZ Ltd/Manawatu Standard

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Philip Bradbury (1966 – 71) In the decades since leaving school, Philip Bradbury's career has spanned accounting, teaching and writing, amongst other things. Here, he muses on some of the insights he has gained. If we don’t stand for something, we’ll fall for anything. his is a mantra that served me badly for twenty years. After ęve successful years at Rathkeale College—always in the top ten academically, possibly held the record for representing the school at more sports than anyone else, in the orchestra and choir and had a great old time—I had no idea what to do with my remaining seventy or so years. Looking back with the sagacity of rear vision, I suspect my subconscious chose accounting to please my father. It was a simple, paint-by-numbers kind of occupation but it bored me and I hated it. So why stay for twenty years? Waiting for father’s approval? Well, that never came. It fed and housed the family and I had no idea of what else to do. During my mid-life opportunity (not crisis!) I chose to banish my chronic shyness forever and felt total immersion would be the solution. Standing in front of people, praĴling on all day, seemed like good therapy so I fronted up to the Bay of Plenty Polytechnic and asked if they needed an accounting teacher. hey laughed in my face and then explained that their previous accounting teacher had been sacked the day before and, yes, they deęnitely wanted another one. Soon! I was given an A4 piece of paper with a scribbled outline and asked if I could create a 17-week course from that. As is my life-long habit, I said Yes and panicked later. I spent the ęrst six months in terror of my new job and the students, but each day’s sinking dread was always mixed with equal parts of excitement and fulęlment. After 23 years as a polytechnic tutor, university lecturer, corporate trainer, RO2 trainer and workshop facilitator – in four countries and in subjects including accounting, business management, AIDS management, writing and personal development – I still love the buzz in any learning environment. About the same time, I scared the shyness from my soul, I started writing, just for the fun of it. hen, perchance, I came upon a brilliant manuscript and oěered to publish it for the writer, David Gaughan, because, of course, having no experience in something is the best reason for doing it. I published his book and the books of other authors and was told I should publish my own. hat simple idea had never occurred and so I did that too. Around this time the polytechnic had a dip in numbers and my teaching became part-time, giving me the perfect opportunity to get on my steel horse and ride around, visiting every book store in New Zealand, giving my shyness another boot into the corner. With my conędence at an all-time high, I started badgering the publisher of a national magazine to take my irresistible articles. I phoned, emailed and visited every month for a year and she eventually caved in and reluctantly took an article. hat one article received more LeĴers to the Editor than any previous article had, so I became a regular columnist for several years. I then wrote for several other magazines in New Zealand, Australia, England, Czech Republic and South Africa.

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p. 14

I later became the editor of this magazine and, a year later, my wife and I purchased a single-colour, provincial newsleĴer and turned it into a fullcolour, national magazine. It was a stupendous Ěop, ęnancially, but we loved the experience and met so many amazing people through it. any are still good friends. eanwhile, I was running a men’s group and personal development workshops and then, in South Africa, co-facilitated AIDS workshops, and wrote about all these topics. We lived in England for a liĴle over four years and the claustrophobic, mindnumbing experience of commuting by train and tube to run the corporate training for a London bank inspired a novel, which I published. And that novel inspired two more novels, neither of which are quite ęnished, yet. o date, I’ve self-published ęfteen of my own books and have another ten in the pipeline. Yes, I ęnd it diĜcult to do one thing at a time! hey’re on my website at www.philipjbradbury.com and there you’ll see the generalist at work. here’s a novel, noveleĴes, short stories, poems, songs, humour, seriousness, ęction, non-ęction—everything! he most recently published book is ęfty-three 53-word stories and the next one is ninety-seven 97-word stories—just because I can! And back to accounting. hough I hated doing it, I loved teaching it. aking the most boring subject on earth and making it interesting is always a juicy challenge. Accounting provided well for my family and me. It levered me into teaching and allowed me to work in England (and to experience some of Europe, the editerranean and Egypt) and Australia. Everything serves and limits. For the ęrst 20 years I allowed accounting to limit me. From then on, I allowed it to serve me. Nothing is for nothing and everything counts. y contention is that it maĴers not what we choose but, rather, what we choose to do with what we’ve chosen. Had I but known that when I left Rathkeale, a huge weight would be lifted. And had that weight not been there, I would not have learned I can lift it myself. EmailDZ bradburywordsȓgmail.com PhoneDZ Ƹ61 449 153 412

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p. 15

Jonathan Hooker (1969-73) Old Boy and Masterton District Councillor catches up with Rock Runner to share school memories and some insights into his life of faith. I ęrst began writing this on my return from speaking at the Local body eet the Candidate evening. his is the 6th time I have done this having ęrst been elected to the asterton District Council in 2001. I have continued the writing process while riding the train to Wellington for a Civil Defence Regional Welfare meeting. hese are two of my current roles in my faith based passion to help people. I grew up just out of asterton in a Christian family with a sense of social justice from both parents and grandparents. um on her big OE had found Dad in England just after the war, married and returned to New Zealand. Because of family circumstances Dad had started work at a very young age “in serviceȄ and rising to spending some time as Valet to George VI and watching Elizabeth and argaret grow at Balmoral Castle. While having no formal education he could add numbers faster than a calculator and had a writing style akin to calligraphy. He had a methodical tidiness that my brother totally inherited but to my wife’s frustration I inherited but a portion of this trait. With this background both um and Dad were keen on us geĴing the best education possible and with an Uncle who had started his teaching career at ings with the ęnancial means, my brother Robert and I had the privilege of going to Rathkeale. his male focused education and sport environment suited both of us and as a typical boy I needed a structured and disciplined place to succeed which I did. y academic focus, i.e., aths and Physics, had been with a career in the Airforce in mind. Because of timing issues, I was able to ęnd that the chance of geĴing in on a short service commission and with a job at the other end was remote. I had found maths and physics hard work so the thought of a degree in the same to get a longer Airforce career left me cold. Brother Robert’s godfather was a serving Police OĜcer and him having three daughters we became to some extent surrogate sons! He had always been careful not to glamorise the Police or encouraged us to join but he was preĴy chuěed that after a quick visit to him and the recruiting Sergeant in asterton I joined the New Zealand Police as a very naive and innocent just turned 19-year-old. After three months at rentham Police College I was sent to Wellington Central. At that time being single I wasn’t allowed to return home. As I mentioned I certainly wasn’t street wise but fortunately folk looked at the uniform and the not at times scared individual inside. his began eighteen months of old school, methodical and at times strict especially in relation to the paper work Police training which held me in good stead when I was allowed to return to asterton. Noone wanted to go there because of the criminal climate at the time, but out of frustration the department relented and sent me back.

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